Posted on 8 March 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews, Saiunkoku Monogatari


I can sort-of understand why people often are reluctant to check out very lengthy series. After all, they’re a huge commitment and it’s very hard to tell whether it will turn out worthwhile or not if you have to sit through more than sixty episodes. Series like Naruto, Bleach, Dragon Ball Z and Inuyasha went on and on, amidst pointless fillers, and just could have gotten so much better if they were just 1/4th of their original length.

Still, let me say that for every lengthy series that screws up, you can always find a lengthy series that’s absolutely worth the commitment. Take Legend of Galactic Heroes, Gintama, or any of the World Masterpiece series. And of course Saiunkoku Monogatari. It’s set in a world, reminiscent of ancient China, and follows Shuurei, as she tries to be the first female govermnent official, in a male-dominated society.

Of course, there’s much more to the story than just that. The series starts out as an innocent shoujo love-drama, but soon enough this series shows its josei-roots and develops its huge cast of characters perfectly. Be sure to expect lots of politics. The different arcs are very different from each other, and they’re more than enough to keep this series interesting though its entire run. And of course, there’s quite a bit of romance as well, but don’t expect standard Shoujo-romance here. Quite often, you see two characters who are in love with each other, yet can never be together due to their social status, or the things they did in the past.

I do want to note, though, that some parts of this series are less interesting than others. Saiunkoku Monogatari has a couple of incredibly deep and well-developed characters, but it needs to build up a lot in order to achieve this. There will be a few arcs that aren’t that special, other than that they build up for some amazing scenes, later on in the series. It’s also a shame that the final quarter of the series builds up to a third season that’ll probably arrive in two or three years. The final few episodes also showcase some dramatic budget-problems, with three recap-episodes within twenty episodes, so that’s also something to take into account.

Still, despite the flaws, Saiunkoku remains a versatile and engaging series. If you liked The Twelve Kingdoms (I haven’t seen the series myself, but I hear from everywhere that that’s another excellent series), you’ll definitely like this series. Now all that’s left is to wait a few years for the third season to arrive!

Posted on with categories: Saiunkoku Monogatari


What a wonderful episode to close off the second series! This was hands down, the best episode ever since Shuurei got back from the Sa-clan. Thank you, Madhouse, for not leaving a bad taste at the end, while we have to wait who knows how many years for season three. The end of the episode closed off quite a few storylines, and yet it hinted that there’s still so much more to come. I really hope that the creators will realize this, and haven’t planned to end this series here.

But still, finally this series is over. For the past two years, it’s been my top-source of google-hits and out of all the series I’ve blogged, Saiunkoku Monogatari has received by far the most page-views, even comparing this to Death Note and Claymore. No other series also has as many posts as this one, although I guess that Jigoku Shoujo and Higurashi will come quite close when their third season finishes. Really, it’s sad to see this series gone now. I’ll put it on finished for now, until we get some real confirmations that a third season is under production.

It was also a delight to see Kouyuu and Shuuei back together. The two of them form such a great team with their banter. Suou also seems to have moved his family to the countryside, while he carries out some kind of mission for Kouki. We also learn that Anju is none other than Kouki’s ally. But the best part of the episode was of course seeing Ryuuki and Shuurei back together. It draws quite a parallel with episode 39 of the first season, which also ended with a similar series, but this time, Ryuuki’s development made that scene so different. Back then, he was just a weak little coward, screaming for Shuurei’s affection, but now he really seems to have accepted his task as an emperor. He’s now not just trying to become a good emperor because of Shuurei, and that’s what he realized when he was in the Ran-province.

Now, if you excuse me, I have to go write a review that does this series justice. ^^;

Posted on 1 March 2008 with categories: Saiunkoku Monogatari


I’m not exactly sure why… this episode was a clear aftermath and yet I found it was one of the most enjoyable ones of the third arc so far. I originally thought that seeing Shuuei and Ryuuki develop would be the best thing about the final episodes of the second season, but seeing them actually use this development turned out much more interesting.

Overall, the Kouki-arc just didn’t match up to the Government-Official-arc and the Sa-Province-arc, but that’s only logical. I now see that this arc is far from over, and all that the episodes have been doing is building up. Even the past few mini-arcs were just meant to develop the cast, and to make them ready for the real meat of this arc. It’s just like the Sa-province arc. The first twenty-or-so episodes also were a bit disappointing at times, and Sakujun took a lot of episodes to become likable, but the second half of that arc, with the disease and all simply rocked.

I really hope that Madhouse will continue next year with the third season for Saiunkoku Monogatari. There are just too many interesting plot-points unresolved to not let it happen: there’s Ouki, who’ll be trying more and more to take over the throne, which will bring Kouki, Seiga, Shuurei and Suou more to the foreground as they will definitely be asked to investigate and prevent this takeover. Then there’s the Bara-hime storyline with the big Riou and of course the big mystery about Sakujun’s whereabouts. Furthermore, we still haven’t seen anything of the plans to marry Kouyuu out to Shuurei. Then there’s also Seiga, who majorly lacks in development, considering how important his character is. Overall, that’s more than enough to fill a third season and close this story off properly. Please, Madhouse, don’t abandon this series just yet!

On other news, I was pretty surprised that Shouka didn’t prepare any explanation whatsoever to Shuurei about what the heck he was doing when Ryuuki wandered off on his own. I doubt that he would never make such a mistake to anyone other than Shuurei and Bara-hime. I think that that’s one of the reasons why he originally fell in love with Bara-hime. Somehow, he just couldn’t get his assassin-act together in front of her. ^^;

Posted on 23 February 2008 with categories: Saiunkoku Monogatari


Now this is what I’ve been hoping for! This episode was terrific in terms of storyline. So many things happened at once, and finally the building-up of the previous half year is paying ff. But still, it’s so sad to see that the budget-problems become more and more apparent. Such a major episode should be paired with terrific animation, like what we saw around the climax of the first half of the second season. Instead, the creators treated us to lots of distance-shots, thick lines and still frames. I really don’t like the trend that MadHouse has been setting to screw up their adaptations as they draw near their end! I mean, they’ve got excellent staff, but I’m getting more and more the feeling that it’s their producers who are incredibly lazy.

Well, putting that aside, another reason why I loved this episode was because it again was quite easy to understand. The ship with Ensei, Suou, Shurei and Ryuuren crashes off a waterfall. As everyone becomes conscious again, Ryuuren goes off to find some springs for water, after which Shun comes to pick up Shuurei, by the orders of his master. His orders were to take just Shuurei away, so Ensei and Suou stay behind and collect supplies for the way back.

As Shuurei and Shun walk up the mountain to the castle, Shuurei asks whether he’s heard about Shiba Jin, though Shun says that she had the wrong person. The two then enter the castle, and Shun brings Shurei to the prison cell where Ryuuki lies. Shuurei is really glad to see that he’s fine, though before she has the time to call out to him, Shusui appears, using the same spell that failed, twenty episodes ago. Shuurei then falls unconscious and gets taken away.

We then switch to Ryuuki, who’s finally woken up. Right next to him stands a Shusui, who claims that she’s possessed by a member of the Hyou-clan, which is why she’s acting so weird. I guess she was an easy target for them, because she already lost herself before. In any case, Shusui begins to taunt Ryuuki at how he’s incompetent at his job, and how he should just give up. After this, Ryuki begins to develop even more. That night on the mountains has really convinced him what an idiot he’s been, and he’s determined to now become a real king.

Then, Ran appears. It indeed seems that he’s been following Ryuuki all along, and after hearingt his confession, he decides to step in and save Ryuuki from Shushui. After this, the Hyou-member orders Shun to take care of Ryuuki, leaving the body afterwards. Shusui then turns into her fighter-mode again and starts chasing after Shuuei. Juusanhime also arrives to stop her, after which quite a funny conversation follows, where Shuuei ends up using a dirty trick to remind Shusui of Shouka. After a few slaps from Shuuei, Shusui returns to normal.

Juusanhime then stays to fight Shun, while Shuuei, Ryuuki and Shusui escape. When they are out of the castle, Shusui goes back in to save Shuurei. Shuuei then brings Ryuuki back to Suou, and goes back along with Ryuren to save Shuurei. Ensei went ahead of them, as he seemed to have the same idea. As Ryuuki wakes up, he wants to go back to save Shuurei, though Suou stops him. After all, he’s the king and everyone just went through the trouble of saving him. After hearing this, he finally understands a new part of his responsibilities.

Meanwhile, back in the castle Shuurei is still unconscious. The member of the Ryou-clan seems to be called Ruka, and it was basically her plan to use Ryuuki to lure the Bara-hime in Shuurei towards her. It’s here where Shouka in scary-mode appears again, and breaks some kind of mirror that’s important for Ruka. Strangely enough, Ruka doesn’t seem to be shocked by this, so at least something must have gone according to her plan. In another part of the Castle, Juusanhime now gets the chance to finally say goodbye to Shiba Jin, as it really seems that he works for the enemy and he’s out to kill Ryuuki. That scene seriously rocked.

There’s one thing I don’t understand, though: what’s the real relationship between Shun and Shusui? Where did they meet each other? Is Shun the reason Shusui gets possessed? Which Shusui went along with Shun to the castle? Did she come on her own accord, or was she already possessed by Ruka back then?

In any case, let’s hope that the final two episodes end the second season with a bang, so that the creators can return in a year or two to finish this story. With such a fan-base, there’s a good chance that it’ll happen some day. But then again, Claymore was even more popular, needed a second season even more badly and there are still no signs of any continuation… which leaves me kind-of worried.

Posted on 16 February 2008 with categories: Saiunkoku Monogatari


There are three episodes left. Then, what the heck is a recap-episode doing here? This shows more and more that the creators just need to take a break for a year, and get their budgets and planning fully sorted out, because right now it seems that they just can’t keep up with their own schedule. Unfortunately, the planning-department of Madhouse just isn’t as good as that of for example Nippon Animation, which basically showcased Les Miserables without any break or recap at all, and looks to do the same for Porfy no Nagai Tabi.

The only new scenes are of Ryuuki, developing and reflecting on his own actions. Thankfully, this made the episode not a total waste of time, but this remains lazy on the creator’s side. Thankfully, the development that Ryuuki went through was very good, and the episode prepared really well for the final three episodes.

My main worry is that Madhouse has become infamous for screwing up slightly with their adaptations. For most part, they adapt faithfully, but when it comes to the details, you can always see cut corners. This isn’t like Gonzo, where they basically rewrite more than half of the original source-material; with Madhouse, the changes just feel lazy. Just a few examples:
– Shigurui: Entire final chapters left unanimated, with no intention to do so either.
– Devil May Cry: turned into random plotless fillers.
– Claymore: went with an original story after episode 21 and changed from an engaging plot to a cheesy final battle.
– Death Note: a rushed second half with many pages omitted.
– Gunslinger Girl: no intentions to animate the plot-heavy second half of the manga, so they went with their own ending.
– Pet Shop of Horrors: Just four chapters animated, no information on main character whatsoever.

I think you can understand my worries. Right now, Saiunkoku Monogatari really needs a second season, but I can’t help but fear that Madhouse will screw up with the little details again, and it’s such a pity to see this happen, right when we’re about to hit such an rumoured excellent part of the original novels.

Posted on 9 February 2008 with categories: Saiunkoku Monogatari


There are just two things I don’t like about Saiunkoku Monogatari: the fact that the slow subs have forced me to watch it raw, meaning that I don’t understand half of most of the episodes without Impz’s help, and all these random hiatuses it’s been having. For the past few months, I realized that it’s really important for this series to continue on a weekly basis, otherwise it loses me a bit in the middle of the action. Thankfully, it seems that the final episodes of the second season won’t have anymore random hiatuses like that, so that eliminates the second point for now. ^^;

And really, Ryuuki stole the show this episode! Finally, he’s actually starting to develop, along with Juusanhime. His sadness on the boat towards Shuuei really surprised me, and it seems that he’s really regretting how he ran away from all of his responsibilities, yet again. There’s even a possibility that he won’t be able to return as the king, which is especially unnerving, considering that a few episodes back, we saw that one of these guys had plans to take over Ryuuki’s throne.

In her turn, Juusanhime finally reveals her history with Shiba Jin. It seems that at one point, her mother died (of which circumstances, I don’t know, though; I’m not even sure whether that was revealed). Shiba Jin was then sent to kill her off too, but he couldn’t. Eventually, after three days if I picked this up correctly, Shiba Jin ended up cutting out his own eye and went along with her to the main house of the Ran Clan, and ever since the two had been in love. The two of them spent most of their childhood years together, along with Shuuei, but at one point Jin killed his own father. I’m not sure why, but if I had to guess, then it’d be because he tried to do something against Juusanhime. Probably to finish the task that Jin never could complete.

Posted on 2 February 2008 with categories: Saiunkoku Monogatari


Haha! This has to be the most comprehensible Saiunkoku Monogatari-episode I’ve seen in months. Finally I can understand things again without the help of Impz’s summaries. ^^; Sure, there were a few things that I didn’t pick up, but I’m glad enough that at least this episode didn’t feel like a giant Rubik’s Cube.

The episode starts after what happened at the end of the last episode, and Ensei cheers Shuurei up a bit. He then also agrees to go along with her to the Ran-clan. Ensei also notices that Shuurei hasn’t been sleeping well, so he forces her to go to sleep, while Seiran notices this and threatens to kill the guy. After this, Seiran asks Ensei to make sure that Shuurei returns safely from the Ran-clan.

We then switch to Shouka, Juusanhime and Ryuuki, leaving the capital, with Seiran and Yuushun seeing them off. The next scene is between Shuurei and Ki Kouki, who asks Shuurei that now that she’s going to the Ran-province anyway, that she should investigate a guy named “Shiba Jin”, and I think that Shuurei knows fully well what this means if she goes in too deep, and Juusanhime’s lover might get arrested if she does her job of investigating too well. He also orders her to bring back a few souvenirs, and to not go after Ryuuki if he decides to agree with his engagement with Juusanhime. When Shuurei runs off, she passes Seiga, and the guy has a really suspicious grin on his face while she passes him.

Next up, we see Ensei, Shuurei and Suou in a carriage, heading to the port. They then get surprised by an overly worried father of Suou, who underwent a total change of characters since we saw him first. It seems that he’s really proud of his son now, and he’s still thankful to Shuurei on how sh got him out of prison, it seems. At least, I think that Shuurei was the one who did that, I could be wrong. In any case, he entrusts Suou to Shuurei for the trip. ^^;

The next scene shows Shun and Shusui, as they too seem to be heading for the Ran-province. Shusui isn’t doing well, though, and she struggles to go up the mountains. For some reason, Shun also puts up an eye-patch, to cover for the eye he’s missing. Shusui then mentions a number of strange characters, though that story is one I couldn’t pick up. What’s important, though, is that at one point, she gets possessed again by that strange thing that got hold of her a few episodes back. She calls this thing “Ruka-sama”.

Shuuei has meanwhile finally arrived at the Ran-palace. His triplet-brothers aren’t there, but his brother Ryuuren and his sister Gyoku (I think that’s how she was called) are present. Ryuuren takes off into the woods again, and Shuuei gets to reuinite with his sister. The thing is that he wasn’t really keen on that, and for some reason he was reluctant to meet her. I didn’t pick up exactly why, as she seemed like a really nice person (they even played together when they were kids), though if I had to guess then he did some thing to hurt her in the past. I didn’t pick up what exactly that was, though. Also, Setsuna, is that the name of one of Shuuei’s triplet-brothers, or is that yet another of his brothers?

The episode ends with the ship on which Shuurei, Suou and Ensei are sailing in order to get to the Ran-province. Suou gets seasick, and Ensei’s remedy is basically to knock the guy out so that he’s unconscious during the trip. ^^; The ship then gets struck by a whirlpool that the area is famous for. According to a local legend, one person once threw a manju in the whirlpools and they disappeared. For some reason, Shuurei thinks that this legend is important somehow.

On a side-note, those whirlpools were really badly animated, but then again, this is Madhouse. Their animation is either incredibly good or incredibly bad, and you can really see in this episode that it was meant to save a bit of animation-budget.

Posted on 26 January 2008 with categories: Saiunkoku Monogatari


Okay, so this may not be the best series to watch with a headache. The dialogue is hard enough as it is, and that headache didn’t make things better. Still, at least I’m glad that Saiunkoku Monogatari seems to be back again. I’m really starting to get impatient with this series. I want to see Ryuuki develop already! I know it’s close, but it had already been close two freaking months ago. With all the hiatuses from this series, I’d really wish that this series would hurry up and get on with it.

This episode basically introduces the next mini-arc. Something seems to be going on in the Ran-province, and Shuurei manages to get permission from Ki Kouki to travel there and check it out. It seems to involve a guy named Son Chouchou, whose role I unfortunately couldn’t pick up. We also see more of the villain for this arc, who seems to have teamed up with the suspicious-looking noble whose name I can’t remember at the time.

Interestingly enough, Ryuuki too will be heading to te Ran-province, along with Shouka. I’m really glad that this guy finally gets some attention again. He was one of my favourite characters whenever he played a major role, so I’ve been a bit disappointed that he’s had so little attention for the past half year.

Now that I think about it, does anyone know how long the second season will last? AniDB says that it’ll end with episode 39, but I just don’t trust that website as an official source. And there is no way that this series will be resolved in six episodes. Of course, that could mean that there’s a third season, waiting to air in the upcoming spring-season. That would be awesome, though I really hope that the building-up of the past months will be worth it.

Posted on 12 January 2008 with categories: Saiunkoku Monogatari


Whoa, after the confusing previous episode, the current one totally makes up for it with probably some of the best scenes ever since the end of the Eigetsu-arc. We finally see Juusanhime and Shun together, and we finally learn a bit more about them. Shun’s original name was Shiba Jin, and he lived together with Juusanhime at one point, where she fell in love with him, even though the age-difference between the two was quite large. Then, at one point something happened that caused Jin to change his name, become a prisoner/delinquent/bandit/something and foresake the Ran-clan.

The woman who was with him was indeed Shusui, and only now we see how serious her headaches of the previous episodes were. I didn’t quite catch how he did it, but the fact remains that Shusui lost herself and tried to kill Juusanhime in this episode, if it wasn’t for Ensei, she’d be dead by now. And to think that Shuuei was right there as well, finding out that the woman he longed for tried to kill his own sister.

In the second half of the episode, Shuurei gets basically taken off the case of Juusanhime, because well, she rather failed to protect her. We also see Shuuei, who now really says farewell to Ryuuki. If I had to guess, then there were more things that happened in the past with him, and I guess that he just can’t keep on living like he did for the past two years. I assume that the future episodes will show us more about the guy’s past.

There were a few things I didn’t understand, though. Like, why was the prison with Tantan attacked? And what was the purpose of the match between Ran and Ryuuki?

Posted on 5 January 2008 with categories: Saiunkoku Monogatari


With episodes like this one, I’m glad that people like Impz can churn out reliable summaries. A lot of stuff happened in this episode, but it was also incredibly hard to understand with my limited level of Japanese.

Basically, from what I understood, this episode shows the death of one of the guys who’s after Juusanhime’s life. He’s killed by Shun, in front of Seiga and a whole number of guards. What Seiga was doing there, or what is exact role was in this whole matter, I have no idea of, though. We also get introduced to two new characters: Shun’s assistant (who is quite a good fighter), and a rather young head of the guard. He’ll probably have some kind of small role in the next couple of episode. We never know his name, but there has to be a reason for him to get a unique character-design.

Ensei also returns, when Shuurei runs into him in prison. It seems that he ended up there after he saved Juusanhime from her attackers back then. What’s also interesting is how Juusanhime’s assailants have the same mark on their forehead as Shun. Are they all members of some kind of clan or family, which rivals with the Ran-family, perhaps?

CHANGE USERNAME
Kaiser Eoghan
Struggling to remember the name of that josei samurai manga from the 90s (or earlier 2000s), had a gender bending theme.
Kaiser Eoghan
I've already read kenshin and vagabond, I loved shigurui death frenzy and sword of the stranger but found samurai champloo uneven. Theres a kagemusha manga but I haven't read it and I've yet to see/read blade of the immortal.
Kaiser Eoghan
At a glance I'll go against the grain and say I think demi-chan is funnier than konosuba, going on one episode of each.
I've been watching a fare share of samurai films in the last two years and lately so I'm open to wathing more anime/reading manga dealing with samurai.
SuperMario
Hand Shakers, how I love to watch it jumping off the cliff. This show contains lines like "I don't understand... even if I did understand... but I don't understand." It isn't a dialogue that we encounter too often I'm sure.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Sounds good to me. With me covering Little Witch Academia, Saga of Tanya the evil and Rakugo this season is well covered.
SuperMario
so I've decided to blog 3-gatsu, Scum's Wish and ACCA this season. A bit worry about the latter as I still don't have much to talk about that. Let's try it and see what happens; I say
SuperMario
Okay, I'm not hot on Onihei this week, as if the main theme about these two episodes were "people can be corrupted" then I'm not buying it. ACCA, on the other hand, was still very solid of building up the world and its big events to come.
AidanAK47
I have played all the big roguelikes and found they have the same problem. I argee on procedural generation. Even if the map is different every time you are essentailly going through the same rooms and doing the same things.
Masky
Though to be honest, I don't like procedural(or designed room and then game connects them randomly) games much. I much enjoy hand designed dungeons since I rarely play games through more than once anyway so roguelike's appeal of "Every time you play it through its different!" doesn't appeal to me much and hand designed dungeons are much more memorable
Masky
Can't really comment further on that since I don't know which roguelikes you have played, and neither I have played gungeon so I don't know if its badly designed to the point you can't do anything if rng says so. Though I guess there is nothing wrong about liking luck based games, if roguelike in question is truly unbeatable if rng says so, well, its really badly designed one if you ask me.
AidanAK47
Take my last run. Made it up to the fourth floor. Got plenty of guns but none were really useful. Even then ran out of ammo for all of them and the game was cheap about giving out ammo. Plenty of money but shops with nothing worth buying. Over 5 heart containers but no goddamn health. Died on the boss because I rolled out of a bullet into another bullet. Pretty much unavoidable.
AidanAK47
@Masky, that's the theory but in pretty much every roguelike I played its not the case. If the RNG decides you are going to have a bad time then you are going to have a bad time. Skill can only bring you so far. I have played this game for 7 hours and I know I could have finished it in 2. Only thing stopping me is a dice roll.
Masky
Like, the thing with roguelikes is that they can get easier/harder depending on luck, but well done one should be completable even without any upgrades at all if you are skilled enough.
Masky
Thats not the really case with roguelikes though, unless game design is bad and includes insta kill traps and such that are unavoidable if you are unlucky
AidanAK47
I hate roguelikes. Been playing enter the Gungeon and I just lost all patience with it. Getting real tired of my victory being decided by a RNG. It never feels satisfying to finish a roguelike because I know my victory was determined by pure luck.
AidanAK47
So we got to rely on fansubs for it when it's airing.
AidanAK47
@Mario, Nope. I think because netflix only puts up full seasons they are only planning to put it up when it's finished airing. Or when it's dubbed.
SuperMario
But how does the Netflix thing work? So of I have a Netflix account I can watch the show weekly?
SuperMario
@Aidan: that's a dumb way to do things really because unless you watch the show weekly, everyone gonna forget that it even exist. Just look at Re-Life last year
Lenlo
thought*. Words are hard.

Eventually found the actual first ep though and enjoyed it.
Lenlo
Was funny. I tried to find the first Ep for Little Witch, found original short made afew years ago, watched it and though "This is very similar to the original... Whats new".
AidanAK47
Little witch is one of the best shows this season and yet I can't get subtitles because Netflix doesn't release shows weekly. Motherf*cker.
Lenlo
Ore Monogatari I enjoyed. It was a nice romance that actually explored what happens after the confession. Also the 2 leads are just precious.
Lenlo
Alright but unmemorable seems like a good summation.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: one good thing about Seiren is if you don't like this romance, the whole thing gonna reset after episode 4 so there's a chance that you might end up like it. Agreed that the comedy wasn't very good. Alright but unmemorable
SuperMario
@Topgavin: I watched like first 3 episodes and stopped because I didn't have much time there, but I enjoyed what I saw. A well-written and endearing show in my book
Topgavin
Has anyone here watched Ore Monogatari before? Because in the 4 years I've watched anime, I've never heard of it (I guess it did come out 2 years ago) and yet it's turning out to be one of my favorite shows. Always great going into a show expecting nothing and getting pleasantly surprised.
AidanAK47
Only one more impression to go. Should have it up tomorrow.
Lenlo
Im really not feeling Seiren. Its "comedy" isnt for me and I just dont find it very enjoyable to watch so far. Im curious if it gets any better but 2 episodes in it just isnt that good.
HelghastKillzone
That ending scene is an entire side-story compressed into that. Don't expect anymore of it from here on out as the it sticks to ruthless military/fantasy pretty well.
LookingForKeys
@Topgavin I think it was good, making it the second episode. That way the first set up the world the story will be in, and showed how much of a monster the "little girl" really is right at the end, and then made ep.2 the explanation. Nothing against Tanya trying to rip "God" a new one.
That after-credits scene, though...
SuperMario
Hmm, as much as I like Seiren's omnibus format, it doesn't turn out really hot this second episode. Demi-chan, on the other hand, still maintains its endearing tone. Might blogging Demi-chan instead
Topgavin
Yeah, that second episode was much better than the first. Dunno why they didn't start with that to be honest, waste of an opportunity for a good hook episode. The voice for the main girl still sounds weird to me though; I get it's supposed to sound weird because it symbolizes 'her' being out of place and her personality and body being a mismatch, but it'll certainly take some getting used to.
AidanAK47
Youjo Senki, now we are talking. Like Helghast said, Did the god scene way better than the LN and manga. Made it less comedic and more intimidating.
Lenlo
Oh man that Rakugo intro. Not sure what to think, but first time seeing it I liked it
Kaiser Eoghan
I sort of like good will hunting because I kind of saw a bit of myself in Damon's character when I watched it ages ago.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Remaking psycho and ruining the shower scene, for shame van sant, for shame.
Kaiser Eoghan
Its easy to ripoff some obscure thing though and get away with it. The dogtooth director essentially stole an old Mexican film to make that.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yeah, that following some guys from behind like they were on a RPG games, which I think actually fit with the tones of Elephant. I have such mixed feeling with Gus van Sant too. Don't really think he's a great director.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Although Istvan Szabo is probably a little more well known for that Mephisto film that updates the Faust story. Zoltan Fabri's the fifth seal is a very thought provoking war movie.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I remember seeing a film documentary that featured Gus van sant in one section, they showed clips of tarrs films, Sant ripped of the cinematography and stole the style from some British short film to make Elephant.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: agree on the other Hungarian filmmakers, I don't know much about them either.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Scorsese's Silence was a big comeback. I really really emotionally connect with spiritual crisis stories.
SuperMario
@kaiser: yep, definitely check wreckmeister down. Althought I admit that watching his 2-hour plus films will feel like 5-hour anyways
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I'm more tolerant of darker teenage/coming of age films/stories. Les Demons was a big surprise.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Though its kind of frustrating, I do think Tarr probably takes attention away from other hungarian filmakers because no-body knows who the hell the others are.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Man, wreckmeister was so visually arresting I started getting dreams from it.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I would consider Tarr to be kind of a poor mans Janco, Angelopolus and Tarkvosky rolled into one. I don't entirely "get" wreckmeister and man from London but they are great atmospheric mood piece experiences.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I had been wanting to watch Belar Tarr's Turin Horse and Werckmeister Harmonies for so long now. Well, Fat Girl is shocking haha, but I'm normally drawn into those kind of films anyway.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Margaret took like 5,6 years to release because he couldn't cut it down in the way he wanted. The final cut if I remembered correctly was edited by Martin Scorsese
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Only a HDcam for moonlight now.
Kaiser Eoghan
I looks like my lineup is witch academia, rakugo and youjo senki, well the most latter one until I get bored.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I sense a directors cut for manchester, it feels like it need another 30 minutes.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: right up my valley. Watch Kenneth Lonergan's previous works Magaret and You Can Count on Me. Magaret is very messy but have a raw dialogue and interactions as well
SuperMario
Now the first episodes are over, I will keep on covering 3-gatsu, as for the other twos atm I have 3 options: 1) full romance/anti-romance high school Seiren/Scum's Wish. 2) slice-of-life moe monster girls Demi-chan/Maid Dragon and 3) Mature,dark Onihen/Acca (which although I like them I don't have much to talk about).If you guys have any preference on which shows you like covered then let me know
Kaiser Eoghan
@Helghast: At this point I'm watching youjo senki as an entertaining guilty pleasure.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Too many reboots upcoming, will wait for the dvds instead. I want to explore more of manchester by the sea's director's work. I also want to finally get more into Bela Tarr's stuff.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I was rather shocked by A Ma souer/fat girls final act. Scenes with the Italian in the bedroom were initially creepy.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: it's a nice review Kaiser, a bit jealous with you that you've seen those 3 films which are touted as the best films of 2016. Also Fat Girl, haha, I love that movie.
Kaiser Eoghan
Poor yotaro =< you have so much stuff going down on you =<
HelghastKillzone
Youjo Senki episode was so good today. That revamped scene with God just fitted so right.
AidanAK47
A official release of that game in the west is apparently coming but it's been a few years and not much news about it.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Ah yes that was the one.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Had to think for a moment on that one but I think I was talking about this. https://vndb.org/v3144
Kaiser Eoghan
Now I'd hardly consider myself a studio trigger fan, but I watched the first witch academia episode there, it was actually kind of fun, got the same reaction from me as flipflappers did, that magical, special feeling.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I also, of interest reviewed Kenneth Lonegrans new film: http://letterboxd.com/shao_liu_ringon/film/manchester-by-the-sea/
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Moonlight got some feels out of me though it could of been more, it ends abruptly and with 20 extra minutes they could have spent a bit more time on each section of his life.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I checked out lala land, ending was very well executed, one of three scenes in the film that were impressive visually. The whole thing looked pretty and Gosling and Stone had some decent chemistry. Although it didn't resonate emotionally as strongly as the musicals of Jacques Demi did.
Kaiser Eoghan
MOM I want aiyoku no eustia and I want it now.
Kaiser Eoghan
I've never heard of himawari or tokyo babel. The hellsing comparison at least interests me in dies irae. What was the name of that visual novel again that was coming out soon, Aidan you described it as "And Kaiser would love it because its supposed to be really fucked up".
Kaiser Eoghan
I vaguely remember the anime for 11 eyes, it was very forgettable, even the voice acting was poor, hated the childhood friends and the pacing was poor, those black knight things were kind of interesting though.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: You'll have to add me onto the list of those unsatisfied with the ever 17 writer, I read one of those games and felt it was a bunch of interesting bait that never paid off.
AidanAK47
Anyway I plan on doing a review of 11eyes here when I finish it.
AidanAK47
Can't say I was a fan of Ever17. That was a really good twist but when it came to explaining it their was a lot of contrived development. Generally not a fan of the writer. Looseboy, Ryukishi, Gen and Nasu are more my kinda thing
AidanAK47
@Anon, it is nice that so many VNs are on steam but I wish they wouldn't be stupid with the whole no adult content thing. Not so much for myself but to prevent idiots from writing negitives reviews because the game doesn't have sex. VNs can grip you in a way anime simply can't and while they require pathence and time those can be some pretty powerful stories.
Anonymous678956
@Aidan, I am so happy steam's so VN-friendly now. I think it's a very good type of media. Like anime, it has nice visuals, music and some movement but also the inner monologue and text amount of books. It's the perfect combination. Plus, the routes, which are often puzzle pieces and PoVs you have to go through to understand the whole story. True routes like the one of Ever17 blew my mind.
AidanAK47
Hopefully the two VNs I bought of steam turn out better. Tokyo Babel is supposed to be alright and I heard really good things about Himawari.
AidanAK47
I am about a third of the way through the game and really not much of worth has happened. The concept is interesting but the execution is sorely lacking.
AidanAK47
I went in expecting it to be a mixed bag and it's pretty below my expectations. It's just not really well written and the protagonist is a moron. THere isn't really routes and instead you are pretty much stuck with his childhood friend as the main love interest. Problem with that is her character begins and ends with loving the main.
Anonymous675376
@Aidan, damn. 11Eyes is on my reading list as well. Although I almost expected it to not be as good as I thought it'd be (back then). Guess I would have enjoyed it if I was able to read it while the (shitty) adaption aired, maybe I have seen/read too many series by now. Guess I'll still give it a try some day though.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I haven't heard the OST or watched the intro video. I only know it be reputation and have decided to walk into it as blind as I can. Still slightly worried as I was somewhat looking forward to reading 11Eyes for a couple of years and now that I am reading it it's well...not good.
Anonymous675376
@Aidan, same here. I was waiting years for this, since I saw the intro video for the first time. Also, that OST!
HelghastKillzone
Youjo Senki is already leagues better than Izetta. It's going to be top anime of forever and ever. (maybe not)
AidanAK47
And finally Dies Irae is funded. May actually be able to play and finish the game before the anime airs. If the hype is real behind this baby it could be a new personal favorite Visual Novel of mine. Already looking promising with it being like a cross between Hellsing and Fate/Stay Night. Two things I most certainly like.
Lenlo
@Masky, in regards to style over substance thats where im at with Gurrne Lagann.
Topgavin
Yeah, I'll probably watch the next episode to see whether it can redeem itself. Hopefully it can but considering 1st episodes usually get a lot of budget, there's some severe doubt in there.
AidanAK47
I actually argee with character designs and voices are bad in regards to female characters. Still the next episode might change your mind if we get more into the main characters head.
Anonymous671470
It's boring
Topgavin
Also, it seems I disagree with a lot of people in thinking Youjo Senki will be a massive trainwreck. The character designs are awful, the voice acting is mismatched but most of all the premise just seems so very dumb. If I wanted to watch a badass kill people I'd go watch Hellsing or Drifters, because at least those don't have some op, disproportionate loli as the mc.
AidanAK47
Gets even more complicated when you account for Satire and Parody. You could equally argue all examples listed as being as such.
AidanAK47
Little Witch Academia is a decontruction of Harry Potter....I don't believe that but honestly if I tried I could put some reasoning behind that statement.
Topgavin
In the end, it always comes down to opinion (as with every discussion about anime, for some reason). You could spin any and every series as a "deconstruction", which is why people shy away from using the word. You could argue NGE, Madoka and Re:Zero are all deconstructions yet also argue Gundam, Precure and SAO are depending on what points you weigh more importantly.
Masky
Like, if deconstruction is supposed to be just "break the elements and then play story how it would realistically go down" well I haven't watched NGE, but as far as I know it does have stuff that isn't typical to mecha genre besides the "It would fuck up kids" thing plus "realistically how it would play out" is pretty subjective thing. I mean, its mainly about how cynical bastard the writer is :P
Masky
Like I said, I don't fully agree with it because I find video's speaker's attitude annoying, but I found it semi convincing. Main thing I don't find convincing about it is that I don't think its hard to turn video's own arguments agaisnt it and say that by its own logic NGE isn't deconstruction either, like Aidan just said earlier
Masky
And I don't really have energy for checking out the "correct" one. If there even is one. Anyway, the hipster video I was talking about was titled "What Actually Is A Deconstruction?" if you want to check it out.
Masky
Hmm, well, it does depend on definition you use. Like if you use "realistic" thing, well, Magical Girl shows don't usually have "You turn into monsters" thing going on and reason why NGE's pilots go crazy is from dangerous situations rather than evas making them do so. But honestly, I don't really have strong opinion on matter since word seems to be one of those with several different meaning
SuperMario
for me Madoka IS a deconstruction of Magical girl, and yeah like what Aidan said
SuperMario
I think part of Utena is a deconstruction of "prince riding horse and save the girl" because that notion is just a foundation for Utena to become a prince herself and save other girl. That's breaking it apart and resemble it again in its own way. Don't have to be dark/ don't have to be real either
AidanAK47
@Masky, That's just debating semantics. Besides that difinition would pretty much mean that Neon Genesis Evangelion isn't a decontruction either. Madoka isn't a decontruction because it's dark. It's more in its aspects of criticising why a girl should throw her ordinary life away for something as dangerous as being a magical girl. It does take plenty of the typical tropes and turn them on its head
SuperMario
@Masky: Genre deconstruction is such a tricky word that I normally try to avoid using because there's really no set characteristic about the term and different people have different opinions about what constitute "deconstruction". For me, I disagree that deconstruction have to be dark and real, hmm can't say it well but I will give you an example:
Masky
But yeah, I guess I could try to find the video if you guys are interested, though like I said, I got hipsterish feel from the video and felt rather annoyed through it even though I did get what the point was and found it sort of convincing besides my annoyance
Masky
(not that liking NGE is hipsterish, its just that I find NGE to be more style than substance sort of series <_< Anyway, guy didn't dislike madoka or anything, he just seemed to dislike people using word deconstruction wrong in his opinion)
Masky
(especially with how much they seemed to praise Neon Genesis Evangelion)
Masky
I mean, I think the guy was being somewhat hipsterish, but its true the being darker take on genre isn't same as deconstructing the genre
Masky
@AidanAK47: Some other guy on youtube did video that had actually pretty good point about how Madoka isn't really deconstruction, if you go by definition of "Break it down to parts and then play them straight to show how horrifying it would be in real life"
Anonymous670441
Gente - Ristorante no Hitobito
Kaiser Eoghan
If anything its the hate I have for certain characters that makes it more effective.
Kaiser Eoghan
The obsessional level of attachment is just uncomfortable to me, I don't want to get THAT attached to a non-real character.
Kaiser Eoghan
Its literally just a case of "Okay lets look at this picture of this character, she looks interesting, no feelings or expression from me, apply this fetish, fap, get release, go home. "
Kaiser Eoghan
Or drooling/dribbling/heavy breathing/grinning over the characters. I abhor alot of the anime girls I find attractive or am indifferent, even when looking at ecchi/hentai drawings I'm straight and clinical with it.
Kaiser Eoghan
I mean to each their own. But I really hate the level of emotion/devotion to moe/finding the characters attractive. Such as celebrating their birthdays, going on about how cute/hot they are, how important it is that they're virgins. Or not being being self-aware of how irritating the characters are.
Lenlo
Anime hipster is pretty accurate. His general treatment of the current state of anime is annoying, as is his obsession with moe. Maybe its cause I cant stand moe most of the time, but it bugs me.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Lenlo: Essentially my brothers view on digibro.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: I don't usually feel the need to correct errors in your reviews as the errors are generally un-important, but I think you meant to say apprentices rather than appearences in the Rakugo review, just bringing that up as it felt like kind of a throw off.
AidanAK47
Which is kinda like saying Madoka wasn't a magical girl deconstruction because Sailor Moon and Nanoha had dark elements too.
AidanAK47
Went and read the reddit comments on it and seems I was right on the money.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, He's basically a anime hipster. For example, I saw a thumbnail of his which had Saitama on it and below it "Is There Meaning In "Subverting" Shounen Tropes?" and I thought "Okay, he's going to go on about how OPM isn't subversive and then list a bunch of arbitrary examples in an attempt to redefine what is actually subversive"
Lenlo
I have lots of issues with Digibro. Dude has some good points, but other very horrible ones. Some issues he feels strongly about and gets kinda biased on imo.
Anonymous669202
acca looks visually interesting, and I personally really dig this kind of show, but it seems that it's definitely not for everyone
AidanAK47
Time to live up to my word. Four posts incoming.
AidanAK47
Man, Little witch Academia was so good. I disagree with the whole Digibro thing about being able to recognise a great show in it's first episode but watching this makes me think that this really is going to be something special.
AidanAK47
Alright, gonna put in effort today and have 3 or 4 first impressions posts done. That should knock out near half the season.
Kaiser Eoghan
Had a flip through handshakers. Garish is the word I'd use to describe it visually, it takes you out of the show.
Topgavin
ASuperMario From the first minute I can already tell it's by the same people that made K. Those colour filters and the extremely jarring/obvious city CGI is unmistakable.
SuperMario
Hand Shakers, literally makes my hands shaking. It's an abosolute mess. Highly recommended to check it out because it's so terrible it's great to watch
Vonter212
Yeah, and it's also a literal woman in refrigerator plot device, since that the thing that pushes the story forward.
Masky
I'd say that having to hide your sister's body in fridge would count as daaaaaaark and edgy, but when the body is wearing only underwear, and for some reason main character put metal things in fridge to keep body standing(I guess to not knock fridge open from inside?) I think it goes to "exploitation" you are talking about
Vonter212
@Masky - Did someone said doing dark things for drama? That's the bread and butter to get despair. Unless it's for the sake of perversion. Then it's just exploitation.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Masky: His other works dead tube and scumbag go further in the unhinged regard.
Masky
*relies on easy "let's do [x dark thing] for drama!" thing
Masky
Geez, Mayonaka no X Giten is fricking disturbing/disgusting ._. I'm pretty sure that writing relies on e, but I can't help but think mangaka is trying to make corpses sexy.
SuperMario
I found Onihei to be quite good, actually one of the most solid new episode I watched this new season. Guys, check them out
Vonter
I just hope it doesn't fall into the same misstep Kabaneri or Inuyasha or Bleach fall by making a villain so over the top that it crossed the line of not having a satisfying downfall.
Anonymous657941
@Vonter I think they just moved on. I lost interest rather quickly and I guess even the fans did that at some point, like with some other long-running series. There is much more new and more direct "fujo" stuff out there, many of them probably switched. Don't know what happens in the manga but maybe the story got worse or contained things some people didn't like.
Vonter
January will be loli dictator month (for me) :p. World Conquest Zvezda Plot, Youjo Senki: Saga of Tanya the Evil (new), Seraph of the End. For some reason I stumble into three curious series with little power hungry girls. If I can ask, why did Owari Seraph's hype died, I remember back it was mentioned more often. It still has the fujoshi fanart but still, I don't see people bringing it up.
SuperMario
@CATski: well, if you didn't like its first 3 episodes I dont think the rest gonna change your mind. Have you finished Erased then? How did you like it?
SuperMario
But I understand it's difficult to speak in front of camera, get some time to get used to it
SuperMario
@kaiser: I won't commend on poem as I'm terrible at it myself but younneed to work more on presentation Kaiser. Small little things like looking directly at the camera or say "thanks for listening" in the end can connect you to the audience better
Anonymous657071
Ok. I'll give the thing another chance. *clicks torrent* XD. CATski.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Topgavin: You might like centaur no nanami if you like demi-chan.
Kaiser Eoghan
Damn...repeated myself =<
Kaiser Eoghan
There are these things called slam sessions done in bars where people get up and read out stuff in front of a crowd and read stuff out. Actually watching rakugo made me think about practicing for that kind of thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: the video I did was of me reading out a short piece of writing I did, a poem. lol I uploaded it to the wrong youtube account too I just realized =P
[link src="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypBZ2hBDBYs&t=11s
I"] was recording this from my mothers laptops inbuilt cam while reading off my desktop.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I think it's a good idea for you to try out reviewing movies/stuffs in youtube channel. I'll be very interesting to listen to them
SuperMario
@Topgavin: Agree. Demi-chan was so charming. Definately one of my favorite so far this new season
Topgavin
Demi-chan's first episode was good. Like, really really good. That blonde-haired girl was hilarious, the teacher-student relationship between the MC and the girls is really interesting and the social/practical problems the demi's face make it look like my favorite show so far.
CATski
Ah... ok. Is it really that good or it's just one of those "artsy" animes that tend to get overrated by their ardent fans? I didnt find the rakugo bit interesting.... probably the weakest aspect of the show for me.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Why did I read that chapter. Why did I do that to myself.
Kaiser Eoghan
Admittedly yes the premise is not for everyone, but if you stick with it, the flashback arc had some good character work in there.
Total users: 40

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